10/20/2017

French Musician/Composer Alan Simon Releases New Compilation "Songwriter" 2CD Feat. Jon Anderson, Justin Hayward, Alan Parsons, Martin Barre, John Wetton, Mick Fleetwood and others!


London - Alan Simon is a French folk-rock musician and composer best known for his rock operas which are performed with collaboration from other noted rock musicians. Simon is associated with Breton Celticism, and his most ambitious works are typically on themes linked to Celtic myth and history. Simon has also branched out into film-making. Alan Simon is the creator of the legendary EXCALIBUR: THE CELTIC ROCK OPERA.

This 40 TRACK collection, released on Cherry Red, features a cross-section of Alan Simon's work from his various projects and rock operas.

“The 40 songs on the compilation are all personal selections from my rock operas and concept albums: 'Excalibur (the quadrilogy)', 'Gaia', 'Anne de Bretagne', 'Tristan & Yseult', 'Captain Kid' and various soundtracks...Some of these tracks fans may know already and other tracks offer a deeper insight into my work! 'Songwriter' a sentimental and personal collection which also includes a comic strip of my journey.” - Alan Simon

This collection features songs with guest appearances by:

Members of Supertramp
Midnight Oil
Alan Parsons
Jon Anderson
Fairport Convention
Moya Brennan
John Wetton
Justin Hayward
Maddy Prior
Billy Preston
Roberto Tiranti
Martin Barre
Les Holroyd
Mick Fleetwood
And Zucchero

This collection was previously vinyl only and is now being given its first mainstream CD release.

TRACK LISTING:

DISC ONE
1. CELTIC RING (Feat. Alan Parsons)
2. LES CAVALIERS DU VENT
3. WORLD (Feat. Brankica Vasic)
4. MORHOLT
5. THE ORIGINS PT 1 (Feat. Moya Brennan)
6. THE KINGS
7. LETTRE À YSEULT (Feat. Christian Décamps)
8. DIHUN
9. WAR
10. AD LIBITUM (Feat. Carlos Nũnez)
11. CELTIC LAND
12. BELTAINE (Feat. Fairport Convention)
13. SKYE (Feat. Skilda)
14. CASTLE ROCK (Feat. Fairport Convention)
15. DUN AENGUS (Feat. Martin Barre)
16. THE END
17. IN THE WIND OF THE CELTIC DREAM (Feat. Konan Mevel)
18. THE VISION (Feat. John Wetton)
19. ADELA (Feat. Jesse Siebenberg)
20. I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE (Feat. Jesse Siebenberg And John Helliwell)

DISC TWO
1. NO MAN’S LAND (Feat. Midnight Oil)
2. COME (Feat. Jesse Siebenberg)
3. THE ELEMENTS (Feat. Roger Hodgson & Dan Ar Braz)
4. DANCING HEART (Feat. Roberto Tiranti)
5. CIRCLE OF LIFE (Feat. Jon Anderson)
6. FAME AND GLORY (Feat. Fairport Convention)
7. PEACE ON EARTH (Feat. Heather Small & Billy Preston)
8. ANGEL'S TEARS (Feat. Jeremy Spencer)
9. WHERE IS THE WAY (Feat. Billy Preston)
10. ON THE ROAD (Feat. Justin Hayward)
11. JANGADERO (Feat. Cesaria Evora)
12. EVIL DAY (Feat. Roberto Tiranti)
13. SECRET GARDEN (Feat. Maddy Prior)
14. WORLD (Feat. Zucchero & Anggun)
15. MOTHERLAND (Feat. Jimmy O Neill)
16. SAMAN (Feat. Les Holroyd & Mick Fleetwood)
17. MARIE LA CORDELIÈRE (Feat. James Wood & Fairport Convention)
18. LUGH (Feat. John Wetton & Martin Barre)
19. DESIRE (Feat. Les Holroyd)
20. A PRAYER FOR MY LOVER (Feat. Siobhan Owen)

To purchase:
Amazon: http://geni.us/BAB001

Alan Simon's official website: http://www.alansimononline.com/eng.html

Forthoming on November 3, 2017!
Alan Simon's EXCALIBUR IV is the widely anticipated fourth NEW STUDIO ALBUM in the Celtic Rock Opera series, following on from the GOLD and PLATINUM selling original trilogy. EXCALIBUR IV was played live in its entirety to 12 ARENAS in Germany in December 2016 and will be touring again in 2018.

This new album based on the legendary story of KING ARTHUR features guest appearances from:
Alan Stivell, Michael Sadler (Saga), Jesse Sibenberg & John Helliwell (Supertramp), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Moya Brennan (Clannad), Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth), Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep), Siobham Owen, Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), John Kelly (The Kelly Family), Maite Itoiz (Elfhental)

Official Excalibur Facebook page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Excalibur.The.Celtic.Rock.Opera/

10/19/2017

Rock Singer/Songwriter MICHAEL TRACY Releases Fourth Studio Album STILL GOT SOUL Following Years of Notable Performances


Charlotte, NC - MICHAEL TRACY combines straightforward American Rock and Roll with poignant lyrical themes, reminiscent of Rock Singer/Songwriter idols like Tom Petty, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, and Bruce Springsteen. He has released four studio albums, and together with his band has shared the stage with Bon Jovi (garnering him a featured article in Billboard Magazine), Poison, George Thorogood, Styx, Foreigner, Don Felder, Jefferson Starship, Dokken, and Zach Myers (Shinedown). MICHAEL TRACY will release his new album STILL GOT SOUL in stores and online November 17, 2017. This latest effort is his most ambitious yet, representing an artist who has clearly found his voice and a "lane" to call his own.

His previous label experiences not being a perfect fit, MICHAEL TRACY was inspired to start his own independent label, TW Music Group, to support his new release, and set out to find the right producer that could capture the sound and style he had spent years cultivating, but had yet to realize on a record. In late 2015 Michael would find what he was looking for with Los Angeles producers Bob Marlette (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper) and Sahaj Ticotin (Ra). He traveled to LA and recorded three songs with them that would appear on his early-2016 release Love And Worries, a short collection of previously unreleased material. From those original sessions, a bond emerged between Michael and producer Sahaj Ticotin, and a shared belief that together they could create great records. They got together again in late 2016, co-writing an original Holiday tune that Michael had been working on called “Poinsettia Red.” 

Immediately in 2017 they began plotting STILL GOT SOUL, Michael’s next full-length album. All songs on this stellar new release were written by MICHAEL TRACY and Sahaj Ticotin, and produced, recorded, and engineered by Sahaj in April and May 2017. Featuring mastering by Paul Logus of PLX Mastering and album artwork from Jason Taylor, Scott Hart, and Shannin Washburn, STILL GOT SOUL is an instant classic for every fan’s collection.

Though his time in the studio throughout 2017 kept his performances limited, Michael still booked some of his most notable shows to date. In February MICHAEL TRACY and his band opened for Bon Jovi in Greenville, SC, garnering him a featured article in Billboard Magazine. In the early spring, he played two arena shows opening for Poison, and in September was on the PNC Pavilion stage in Charlotte opening for the Jeff Foxworthy/Larry The Cable Guy Back Yard BBQ featuring Marshall Tucker Band & Foghat.

The new MICHAEL TRACY album STILL GOT SOUL will release in stores and online November 17, 2017 and he will continue to perform in support of the release throughout 2017 and 2018. For more information about MICHAEL TRACY, please visit his website and social media pages via www.michael-tracy.com.

MICHAEL TRACY began his journey as a singer/songwriter in early 2011, stepping on stage at a local open mic to nervously perform some songs he had just written. He had spent his early 20’s in the Navy, stationed on both coasts and traveling to countries throughout the Mediterranean. He married his wife while in the Navy and they have two children together. It was later that Michael joined together his love of words and music as a songwriter, having learned guitar as a child fascinated with books and writing. The open mic performance awakened something in him and he continued honing his chops, jumping on stages all over Charlotte and jamming with local musicians. He entered the studio in November 2011 to record his first album, Enough Small Talk.

Over the next two years, MICHAEL TRACY put a band together and impressed audiences with his high-energy and soulful performances. By 2013 he won his first of many regional awards with the reader’s choice award for Best Songwriter from Creative Loafing Best of Charlotte. He also won the Charlotte Music Awards 2013 and performed his first major opening gig as the supporting act for George Thorogood at The Fillmore. He booked more high profile gigs in 2014, including opening slots for Styx, Foreigner, Don Felder, Jefferson Starship, Dokken, and Zach Myers (Shinedown), and ended the year ended with his own headline show at The Fillmore promoted by Live Nation. While spending 2014 performing across the region, Michael also returned to the studio and produced his next album Gonna Smile, which was signed by the indie label Spectra Records and released in February 2015.

To order STILL GOT SOUL on iTunes and other services please visit http://smarturl.it/stillgotsoul

To order on Bandcamp please visit https://michaeltracy.bandcamp.com/album/still-got-soul ;

For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James of Glass Onyon PR at (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

For Radio please contact Peter Hay of Twin Vision Radio Promotion at TwinVision@aol.com

For Digital Marketing, please contact Jerome Forney of Independent Distribution Collective at jerome@independentdistro.com

10/18/2017

New Age Review: Rachel Lafond-Wandering Soul

Release Date: May 15, 2017
Label: Independent

Rachel Lafond released Wandering Soul in May of 2017.

This is piano only music, based in the foundation of contemporary instrumental and classical. It emerges as a finely presented new age sound.

Rachel’s singularity is her greatest asset on this recording. Likewise, her intent is to reach each “individual” listener is successful. This individualism makes total sense, it fits the entire presentation. While it is created for the masses, what you see is the artist on the piano alone.  And upon further inspection, there is a mirror image of her looking out the window, subtle yet effective. What happens is we get a window into a Wandering Soul. A mirror image of her soul wandering from her physical body tells the story before you even hit play.

This is a story played out on the piano with insight and depth. The kind of emotion and soul searching that you can find within this music, it is part and parcel of what get with this CD. The melodic tempo of the tracks has a hint of sadness, yet the energy and joy of discovery enters the equation. This is when the wandering comes to end as the soul is finally “Finding Home.”

After listening to this kind of music for many years now I find it fascinating how the titles coincide with the music and can make sense. All you have to do is let it sweep you away, like a broom sweeps away the dust and then particles float into the air, so can you. A billowing cloud of sound and texture transports you as you become the story. The music can lead you down that path to instant gratification. This is the kind satisfaction you find without a price tag on it, free of any sort of remorse afterwards. From the beginning to the end, this is a real spiritual kind of recognition.

That is the beauty of music like this. Solo piano played with such grace and preciseness is resilient, timeless and moldable to each listener. What a wonderful gift that Rachel is sharing. I for one certainly appreciate it, every track. It helped me to center and relax like I need to… and just like everyone else does. Give it a try you will be glad you did!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 18, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Whisper In The Mist
02. Kingfisher   
03. Why We Wander
04. Ember Warmth - Twin Peaks
05. Redemption   
06. Spinning In The Sun
07. Wandering Soul
08. Nikko River
09. Mystery Of The Moor
10. Wandering Soul
11. Finding Home



10/16/2017

Essential Modern Progressive Rock Albums: Images and Words Behind Prog's Most Celebrated Albums 1990-2016 Available For Pre-order Now


Earlier this summer, a new book dedicated to the resurgence of one of music's most enduring and underrated genres was announced from The Prog Report. Essential Modern Progressive Rock Albums: Images and Words Behind Prog’s Most Celebrated Albums 1990-2016, authored by Prog Report editor Roie Avin, is the first book to shine a light exclusively on the important albums of the modern progressive rock era. This new book showcases more than 50 albums from the last quarter century of prog, with each chapter dedicated to one album.

Featuring full color images of the artists live, original press photos and brilliant album cover art, this 280+ page, soft cover coffee table book will be one every prog fan will want to display proudly as a badge of their fandom.

The book, out in late November, is now available for preorder only at: http://progreport.com/essential-modern-prog-rock-albums/

Preorders come with a download of a chapter from the book on Transatlantic’s The Whirlwind.

Highlighted in the book are prolific and pioneering artists such as Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Spock’s Beard, Marillion, The Flower Kings, Enchant, Fates Warning, Queensryche, and Big Big Train, along with more recent bands like Haken, Karnivool, Riverside, Between the Buried and Me, and The Dear Hunter, among the more than 30 bands included. Drawing on original interviews with band members such as Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Steven Wilson, John Petrucci, Mikael Åkerfeldt, Roine Stolt, Pete Trewavas, Ross Jennings, and dozens more, the book offers an in-depth look at the stories behind the albums that shaped the next wave of progressive rock. This book focuses solely on bands that carried the mantle of the genre's initial '70s explosion, artists that expanded the genre further, incorporating new sounds and elements to reach new audiences worldwide.

“The last 25+ years have been an incredibly fruitful period for progressive music, as this books indicates. The albums chosen here represent some of the most exciting music created in the modern progressive period, and it's only right that they claim their moment in the spotlight.” - Jerry Ewing, Prog Magazine

“There certainly was a period when the majority of bands of the New Prog generation, whilst more than competent, sounded just a bit too derivative of the their first generation idols. But Roie Avin's book goes some way to establish the credentials of the more recent Neo-Prog bands as having a far more individual and original voice whether it be the virtuosity of Dream Theater, the creativity and appeal of Big Big Train, or the highly impressive path carved out by Steven Wilson firstly with Porcupine Tree and latterly, in his own right.” - Anthony Phillips, Genesis founding member and guitarist

“This looks to be an amazing book and a MUST HAVE for Prog fans!” - Mike Portnoy

Teaser video that was released in July: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuamlgOsIOI

To purchase: http://progreport.com/essential-modern-prog-rock-albums/

For more information: contact@progreport.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

10/13/2017

Guitarist Mark Vickness To Release Debut Solo Album "Places" Inspired by Experiences Traveling America


Oakland, CA - After years as the driving instrumental force behind the guitar/vocal duo, Glass House, guitarist Mark Vickness releases his first solo CD inspired by experiences traveling throughout the US.

“Places” is a modern fingerstyle solo acoustic guitar CD featuring eight original compositions and an arrangement of the spiritual, “I Must Tell Jesus,” which Mark recorded in memoriam to the woman who raised him who died in 2015 at the age of 99.

Says Mark, “Although the music on this CD is inspired by places I have been, it's also about the personal journey of delving into modern fingerstyle guitar in writing and recording these pieces.”

Along the way, Mark enlisted the talents of his wife, Jennifer and his two children, Lucy and Will, to make this a family-inclusive project. Both Jennifer and Will contribute photos to the twelve page color booklet included with the CD. Lucy, who was recently named the Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, offers one of her poems to accompany the arrangement of “I Must Tell Jesus.”

The places and experiences that inspired these pieces include Thousand Islands Lake in the High Sierra Mountains of California (A Thousand Islands) where Mark got engaged, the Wind River Range in Wyoming where Mark had many tranformative first experiences, Prince William Sound in Alaska, New York City and Hawaii where he had a magical ocean encounter with manta rays (Flight of the Rays).

“Mark Vickness dazzles on his 8 string guitar/bass.” - Tom Semioli, Minor 7th

Modern Fingerstyle Guitar is a genre that traces its roots back to a few early proponents, most notably Michael Hedges. The idea was to expand the musical vocabulary for the steel string acoustic guitar by employing percussive techniques, broader use of harmonics, unique tunings and better ways of amplifying the acoustic guitar to produce a richer, more layered, orchestral sound. That initial idea continues to motivate players to come up with new ways to push the envelope including the use of various effects and looping. Mark employs all of these techniques in these compositions.

Says Mark, “The only rules I set for this CD were that all the pieces be played on a steel string acoustic guitar and that I be able to perform them live as a soloist. I only broke the rules a few times. Because I come from a background as a composer, my focus was on the compositions themselves rather than on any particular fingerstyle technique.”

In addition to writing and performing these pieces on guitar, Mark reached back to his love of composing for string quartet for the coda of the “Wonder Lake Suite.” He also performs the tabla part on “Flight of the Rays.”

“Places” was recorded, engineered and mixed by Dan Feiszli at his studio in El Cerrito, CA and at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The string quartet coda on Wonder Lake Suite was performed by two-time grammy award winning violinist/violist Mads Tolling and cellist Joseph Hebert. The CD was mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Burbank, CA. The CD artwork was designed by Teo Mok.

Mark plays a Michael Greenfield G4 fan fret, a Greenfield baritone guitar, a Matt Mustapick custom designed eight string and an Ovation Celebrity Deluxe Double Neck acoustic guitar.

In addition to the video of “I Must Tell Jesus” (https://youtu.be/2N7BU1FVZG8), Mark will be recording several more solo guitar videos in the coming months as well as performing both as a solo guitarist and with Glass House. Glass House is currently in production for its next EP.

To purchase Mark Vickness's “Places”: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/markvickness

For more information:
Website: markvickness.com
Facebook: facebook.com/mark.vickness

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

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